10 Simple Ways to Cure a Food Coma

The dreaded "food coma" is real—but a heavy meal doesn't have to knock you out. Here are a handful of ways to cure it fast!

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Hand holding a glass of water poured from the kitchen faucet

Drink water

You may be tempted to skip that glass of water if you’re feeling bloated after a big meal, but your body needs that hydration. Drinking more water will help your digestive system flush out the extra sodium that’s causing your fingers to swell like sausages.

Pump up your water’s flavor with fun ice cubes or by infusing it with fruit and herbs.

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Woman blending spinach, berries, bananas and almond milk to make a healthy green smoothie

Eat a light breakfast

You may still be feeling full and sluggish the morning after your food coma, but don’t be tempted to skip breakfast. That will only leave your blood sugar level too low, causing more fatigue and cravings. Whip up something light like this green breakfast smoothie to give your body a little pick-me-up.

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young fitness woman hiker legs at forest trail

Go for a walk

A walk in the cold is probably not what you’re craving right now, but there’s no quicker way to beat a food coma. Some brisk activity can get your digestive tract moving, as well as wake you up from that food fatigue. So grab your boots and a friend and head out the door!

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Drink Tea relax cosy photo with blurred background.
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Have a cup of tea

If you’re feeling uncomfortably full after dinner, try a soothing cup of tea. Your body needs the fluids, and it’s a good idea to skip that second glass of wine anyway. Mint or cinnamon tea can settle your stomach and get you back to feeling like yourself.

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bowl of cucumbers and tomatoes
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Stick with small meals

Because your body is working hard to break down and digest a big meal, stick with smaller meals the day after you overeat. This will keep your digestive tract moving along while helping you stay energized. Try quick, simple meals like smoothies, soup and healthy salads.

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Healthy food clean eating selection in wooden box: fruit, vegetable, seeds, superfood, cereals, leaf vegetable on gray concrete background
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Increase your fruits and veggies

If you’re still craving a little something sweet after a big dinner, stick with hydrating fruit like watermelon. (Sugar will only add to that bloated, tired feeling.) Your body will be craving foods high in fiber, so load up on the fruits and vegetables to feel better fast.

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Friends toasting, saying cheers holding tropical blended fruit margaritas.
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Avoid alcohol

Everyone loves a little cheer, but alcohol will only make your food coma worse. That cocktail will leave you feeling sluggish and dehydrated. If you find yourself overeating at a party, take a break from alcoholic drinks and have a glass of water instead.

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Woman practicing yoga against a brick wall
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Try a yoga twist

Yoga is the perfect activity to break you out of your food coma. It’s gentle and soothing and can even help you digest your food. Twisting poses stimulate digestion, so try one a few hours after your big meal. You could also do a few poses before your meal to try and prevent the coma in the first place.

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A cup of black coffee with sugar and sweet cupcake
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Drink black coffee

When you have a food coma, the only thing you want is a nap. Going right to bed will leave you feeling groggy and full when you wake up. (No good!) Instead, enjoy a warm cup of black coffee after dinner. It will perk you up without adding extra sugar or calories.

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Diverse women dancing together

Throw a dance party

Can’t get yourself out the door for a post-dinner walk? Pump up the tunes and start a kitchen dance party! You’ll shake off your food coma while also establishing yourself as the fun aunt or uncle.

Carrie Madormo, RN
Carrie is a health writer and nurse who specializes in healthy eating and wellness through food. With a master’s degree in public health from the Medical College of Wisconsin, she strives to translate the latest health and nutrition research into interesting, actionable articles. During her six years at Taste of Home, Carrie has answered hundreds of reader questions about health and nutrition, such as if pomegranate seeds are safe to eat, why pregnant women crave pickles and how much caffeine is in a shot of espresso. Carrie is also a former health coach and food blogger.